Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I ❤ My Sponsors + Giveaway: {Penelope's Porch} CLOSED

--THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED--



~You know how much I adore miniature things. And how much I gasp over vintage-ness.~

...You don't? Why, that's silly--I though *everyone* knew that I am head-over-heels in love with the adorable-ness of a small, dainty, doll-sized object. I could stare at a teeny teacup for hours...yes, really. :)
With that said, you can only imagine how Miss Penelope from Penelope's Porch had me swooning over her handmade, vinatge-looking goodness. At this shop, you will find an "eclectic selection of unique, whimsical, modern, and vintage style jewelery." Take a look {don't faint now, ladies}:

Secret Garden Teacup Necklace - Porcelain Rose

Bakers Love Cupcake Muffin Pan and Whisk on a Sterling Silver Plated Chain

Bird Watcher Lariat Necklace with tiny bird and binocularsMiniature Porcelain Vintage Style Clock Necklace - Pink Flowers
Lucky Four Leaf Clover Charm on a Silver Chain NecklaceThe Orange Tree Necklace

Tiny Tea Time Teacup on a Sterling Silver Plated Chain Necklace

...Drooling yet? ;)

Now, Miss Penelope has been extremely wonderful in donating this item for our latest giveaway. Here is the adorable item one of my blessed readers is going to find in the mailbox for them one day:  

Tea and a Cupcake in Paris necklace

Tea and a Cupcake in Paris necklace


..Okay, tea and cakes and miniature are divine, but with Paris? L-O-V-E.

❤~❤~❤
....How to Win This Lovely....

*Visit Penelope's Porch and comment with the link to your favorite item.*

....For additional entries, worth (1) each....
{Leave seperate comments for *every* thing you do, please!}

>Follow "From Under My Little Umbrella" via Google Friend Connect

>Post about this giveaway on blogger/twitter/facebook; leave me the link


>Like Penelope's Porch on facebook and tell her I sent you! :)

>Post this button to your sidebar:





 
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, aged ten years and older. A winner will be drawn via random.org ASAP after the giveaway ends on April 18th, 2011, 5:00 p.m. EST. Please leave some form of communication {such as an e-mail or blog link} in an entry so that I may contact you if you win. If the winner does not resond within 48 hours of the drawing, another shall be picked.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Because "Blogger" Should Really Be Entitled "New Friend Maker.."




I always get excited when a new follower joins our ranks at the top of the page, because it means something wonderful: I have a new friend! <3 Even better is when I discover that my new friend has a blog, and we begin to correspond and truly become online "buddies." :)

..But the sad thing is, though I may have many sweet blogging buddies, I am never destined to meet a good 99/100 of them. :( In fact, over all of my years of online friendships, I have yet to meet a single real, live young lady from my list of pen-pals and favorite bloggers, giver her a real, live hug that doesn't look like this --> {{HUG}}, and have a real, wonderful, conversation.

All that is about to change, because for the first time ever, Lucia is about to change her history.

Miss Michaela F., from the delightful blog The Last Rose of Summer, and her sister Anna F., from the ever-popular blog Oooh La La! are coming to my home state, for a visit.

~Is that exciting or what?!~

...Now, it is a funny thing with us, because a little while back we all discovered that we all knew the same young lady, Miss Nicole C. (yes, she taught the dress-making class).

Michaela and Nicole are actually pretty much best friends, and it was by mere coincidence that, whilst browsing through Anna's blog a few months ago, I came accross a photo of Nicole and the two F. sisters at an "Ohio Rendevous." I was like, "Wha..?!"

Thus, it was discovered that we are connected in mysterious ways, and...they are arriving here in May to visit Nicole and their other friends here, just in time for the "Count of Monte Cristo" ball, too {which I shall be attending...more on that later}!

~Michaela and Anna, I so look forward to meeting you, my dears!~

..Blessings, friends! I wish I could meet all of you someday...<3

Sunday, March 27, 2011

LORD's Day...

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses

  

And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses...
                             

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own!


And the joy we share, as we tarry there
None other has ever known!

  

~Happy Sunday, dear friends! May the Lord bless you on this, His day.~

::Song: "In the Garden," by Austin C. Miles::


{By the way,  and AMAZING GIVEAWAY is going on over at "The Twinners Reviews and Giveaways!" If you are a photographer in need of a camera, click here...}

Saturday, March 26, 2011

When the Rain Gets You Down.. ☂

I was out running with my sister today, happy and carefree in the sunshine along country roads.

☂ Then, it started to rain. And I got wet. Reeeally w-e-t. :P ☂

I was feeling rather chilled and mopey by the time I plopped down and opened up the laptop, and my fingers left wet imprints on the keys as I typed in the password.

...And then, my dampened spirits {pardon the pun..} were lifted. Because, I saw this dress:

The Paige- Vintage 1950s Pale Pink Ballerina Tulle Floral Party Dress
{Via the BohemianBisoux}

..Isn't it the floofiest, dreamiest thing ever? And with some straps and a cute sweater...*sigh*
My spirits couldn't help but be lifted.



Not to mention the fact that I was eating a fresh-off-the-George-Foreman



::Grilled Cheese Sandwhich::

..What makes you happy, friends? What puts a smile on your face, and lifts your heart?


~*~


Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

❤ {Proverbs 16:3} ❤


~*~


{Perhaps entering my giveaway, before it ends on the last day of March, will help brighten your day?}

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Song Do You Sing?




...You're just gonna stand there and watch me cry?
Well that's alright because I like the way you lie...

Do you ever write songs?
..Just, you know, to write them?

You know they're terrible, you know you could never make anything off of them, and you would die before showing them to anyone, but they reflect what your heart is singing, and so, you write them.

If this is the case, then you are a songwriter. Just like me. :) I've written a few songs in my liftetime--mostly in the form of poems which I have yet to set to music, but nevertheless, they are songs.

Most people write songs about heartbreaks and boyfriends and being dumped and oh-I-hate-you-so-much stuff. The above lyrics are from that type of song--*"I Like the Way You Lie."* (Please see disclaimer below...I do not endorse this song!) 

Why?

Well, sometimes, it's tempting to want to pour all of your "grouchyness" out onto a sheet of paper. It makes you feel good to spill out the things that have gone wrong, the things that you are fuming about, the people you aren't feeling kindly toward at the moment. :) Afterall, that's how most of the big singers make their money--by complaining through their lyrics. It's what we want to hear, because somehow, knowing that another person is going through exactly the same things as us makes us feel better.

If you write songs and poetry and all that good stuff, and find yourself pouring self-pity into your works, I have a suggestion to make:

Why not write about Jesus, and the heartbreaks He's fixed within you?


*Note on the lyrics used at the beginning of the post: I do not in any way endorse this song, I simply heard the chorus awhile back and have no idea if it's an "okay" song or not. My guess is that it isn't--I just used it to illustrate the point.*

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Springy-Spring-Springa," She Eees Here! :)

{Photo credit, my sister Olivia}

...Annnd, if you could decipher my title, I congratulate you. :) Yeppers, I *love* Miss Spring {a.k.a., "Springy-Spring-Springa"}. Not as much as Summer. Singing praises of Summer would take all day. But, I love Spring, and I make sure that when Spring comes around, she knows that I love her, too.

Hence the Spring-y outfit, hence the daffodil photo shoot, hence the post dedication.

:D

..Still with me? Good. Now, let's do a victory parade whilst the seasons-who've-passed-away watch in envy. :)

Remember him?:


Yes, Mr. Winter. Well, he snuck out the back door while there was still time. Lucky for her, Miss Spring slipped in when he wasn't looking, right behind him through the door he opened.

..and remember him?:


..Right. Mr. Fall. He has been gone on vacation a good while now, and though we liked his prettyness while he lasted, I say, "Good riddance!"

..Now, you all should have seen a bit of her by now, wherever you live:


❤ ..Welcome back, dear Spring!.. ❤

I have waited for you, and my feet are itching to be free.. :)

~*~

Monday, March 21, 2011

I ❤ My Sponsors + Giveaway: {Fresh Modesty} --CLOSED--


--- THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. :( THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY...THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST! ---

...It is with great joy that I announce my first advertising sponsor's giveaway. You may have noticed the shops advertised on my sidebar~~those are my lovely sponsors! They have signed up for six months of advertising on my blog, and in return, they are each donating an item for a giveaway here.

If you have a shop and are interested in this proposition, please visit {this} page. :)

~*~

Now. Are you a young lady concerned with modesty, even at the beach or by the poolside? Then this giveaway item is just what you need. Plus, don't worry: you DON'T have to be an "expert seamstress" to take on this project!


 Fresh Modesty is a company owned by an eighteen-year-old young lady, Miss Olivia H. In her own words {paraphrased}:

...I sew. I sew a lot. I am a Christian and through grace I live to serve others. He has given me a passion for modest style and sharing the joy of "Dressing outside your box, but inside His Book"...{My} goal {is to} encourage others in the quest to be "Cute, but Covered. Stylish, but sensible! Contemporary, but classic! Feminine, but fresh!"

This is what the winner of Fresh Modesty's sponsored giveaway will be recieving:


..That's right, an eBook filled with all of the details, patterns, and simple knowledge you need to make that perfect, cute, modest swimsuit. <3 There is a $13.99 value on this, so you're gettin' it good, gals! :) Here are some of the styles you can make: 


 And, just in case you're wondering...

What is an eBook?

An eBook is a PDF document that you download to your computer. From there you can either read/use it straight off the screen, print it out on your home printer, or take it to a store for printing. You could even just print out the pages with patterns and read the rest off your screen. Its completely up to you!


How to Enter:

*Please read all instructions carefully, and leave a separate comment for each of your entries.*

*{MANDATORY ENTRY:}*
If you don't do this, none of your other entries will count! :(


{EXTRA ENTRIES:}

1.) E-mail two friends with this message (include the link to the review), and tell me who:
{1 entry for each e-mail}

My friend Lucia wants to win an iPod touch with her book review! Would you mind taking a sec to rate it for her? Here's the link:


... She will be forever indebted to you, and so will I, because if you do so, I get an extra entry in her giveaway!

2.) If they reply saying they rated it, comment here and tell me so!
{1 entry for each reply}

3.) Follow this blog via Google Friend Connect (old followers definitely count, don't worry!)
{3 entries}

4.) Post about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter, and leave me the link!
{2 entries}

5.) Add my blog's link or button to your sidebar
{2 entries}

~*~

..Annnnd, that's about it! :) I hope you're as excited about this offer as I am--I wish *I* could enter myself, because I desperately need a new swimsuit. ;) Stay tuned for more sponsor giveaways, dearies...<3

::This giveaway is open to residents of ANY country, and ends on the last day of this month. Please leave your e-mail address or blog link in an entry, so that I may contact you if you win. The winner will be drawn via random.org, and will be announce ASAP after the 31st of March. If the winner does not contact me within 48 hours of the announcement, another shall be drawn. ::

Saturday, March 19, 2011

We Luv Eshakti! {Product Review}


..Are you looking for the perfect dress? Skirt? Blouse? Coat? 

~*~

Perhaps something modest, yet classy, feminine, and in just the right color? Then pay a quick visit to



..This India-based company supplies well-made, just-the-right-fit clothing for ladies who are tired of searching for a wearable, affordable wedding, party, etc. outfit.

The owners at Eshakti were kind enough to send me a free sample to review. Here is what I chose:



{I looked for this dress on the site, but can't find it anywhere! So, if you wanted to purchase this dress, feel free to copy this photo and ask the company where to find it!}


..Believe it or not, along with their excellent selecion of clothing articles, Eshakti also lets you custom-fit your dress/skirt, etc., for a mere $7.50! So, you are guranteed a perfect fit. :) That is what I did, and I am very pleased with the feel. My mom and I did make some adjustments on it, as the shoulder straps were a little more exposing than I thought they would be, but now, tis perfect. This dress came exactly as it looked on the website...only, now I have found things on there I wish I had gotten instead~~not that I don't love the dress, I just love another thing more! ;) Hehe...

My mom was impressed with the quality of its make, and the fabric is excellent quality.

The only thing I have to complain about is that the shipping took over a month, when I thought it would only take ten days. But, the time also went slower because I was waiting and waiting for it, in my excited aniticipation of it's arrival. :D I am thinking the slow shipping was only because my order was a sample--real paying orders, I think, would come in first-rate timing!

All in all, I am very impressed with Eshakti, and recommend the store to anyone in need of a downright good piece of clothing.

~*~

Do you have a product that needs to be reviewed? Visit my PR page now!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blogging for Books Review: Dragons of the Valley


What would life within a world of dragons, castles, and elvish beings be like?

...J. R. R. Tolkien once gave us a glimpse into such a magical atmosphere alongside Frodo and the Ring, and now Donita K. Paul invites fans of this courageous adventure to travel within the similar pages of Dragons of the Valley.


When war threatens her peaceful land, like Frodo Baggins of Middle Earth, Princess Tipper Schope of Chiril is faced with a qwest as vital as the keeping of the Ring. However, the aim for this journey is not to destroy, but to find saftey for the three statues of Wulder--which keep Chiril alive. And like Frodo, Tipper isn't about to succeed on her own--she needs the help of her constant companions: Bealomondore the artist, Fenworth the good wizard, and the ever-faithful dragons.

I must confess that fantasy is not my first choice when it comes to reading. I enjoy Tolkien's work, but find all other attempts at elvish magic to be nonsense; complicated character names and far-fetched plots. Thus, it was with great surprise that I found this novel appealing. The complicated names are there, to be sure, but the storyline runs smoothly, mingling with several exciting side-plots along the way. Also, the tale isn't just centered around one specific hero or heroine; instead, we get a glimpse into the thoughts of several characters, good or evil.

One of my favorite aspects about Dragons of the Valley was how its authoress managed to intertwine truths about faith, God (represented in this case by Wulder), and developement of character within the mysteries and narrow escapes. Tipper and Bealomondore, especially, find valuable life lessons despite their challenges; in the meanwhile, discovering what will always last when even Chiril seems about to fade away.

And, dear friends, I would love it if you would take a second to please rate my review, and give me the chance to win an iPod! Comment and let me know if you do, so that I can thank you personally! :)


*DISCLAIMER:* I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Current Food Obsession...❤

Do you know what my new obsession is right now?



Greek Yogurt.

 ❤

Okay, so it's a leetle bit sour all by itself, but with the right amount of fruit and honey....:) And it's healthy, too, so I'm headin' in a good direction, right? Right.

;)

Have you ever tried this foreign delicacy? What is your favorite way to enjoy it?

~*~ 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Famous Persons I've Seen Live...

Yesterday, my family and I were privileged to attend a business seminar called "Get Motivated!" Now, I must confess that we didn't attend as much for the "motivation" part as we did for getting to hear several famous speakers...;) Hehe. Anyways, we got a special limited-time-only deal where we only payed $1.95 per person, instead of $225 at the door! BIG discount, huh? Otherwise..yeah, we wouldn't have been there.

So do you wanna know whom I can now add to my "famous persons seen live" list?



::Laura Bush::
Former first lady.


::Colin Powell::
Former Secretary of State and renowned five star General.


::Rudy Guiliani::
"America's Mayor;" former mayor of New York and prominent figure during the World Trade Center tradgedies..politician.


::Bill Cosby::
Renowned comedian

...and many more whom weren't *quite* as famous, so I won't bother searching for their names/pictures in the back of my mind. ;)

Who have you seen/met who is famous? Who is someone whom you would love to see in the future?

Here is someone I would love to meet:


::Scotty McCreery::
American Idol current contestant

..Now, I don't watch American Idol, but some friends told us about Scotty, and we watched a few of his performances. Let me tell you, he has an *amazing* deep voice, sings country, and best of all, loves Jesus! He is really humble about all of this fame, and cares about the other contestants, and the light of Christ really does shine through him. He's also not afraid to sing songs that have the Lord in them, and in his own interview (paraphrased):

"..I love Jesus Christ with all of my heart. He is the reason I am where I am today."

..Awwwe! I would love to meet him someday. :) If you haven't heard him, look him up! He's still in the running--top twelve! *Hopes*

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Be Still and Know...

Have you ever stopped what you were doing, just for a moment, and breathed in the quietness?

~*~

...Your surroundings might still be busy, a crowd might be surging past you, clamoring and shouting.

But you, you are still, you are silent.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to the mountains with a part of my family and some friends for a skiing/snowboarding trip. We are blessed to live only about two hours from "the slopes," so we go as often as possible with our five-time night pass.

It was our last run of the night. There were very few people still out, and we just managed to clamber on to the final lift.

The night was clear, but a few small snowflakes were gracing my cheeks as the steady purr of the lift's motor began.

About half-way up, the lift suddenly halted--someone had most likely taken a spill getting on or off, and all was postponed as they struggled to their feet.

It was calm. Beautiful.

Breathtakingly silent.

It was just me in the moment of tranquil, listening to the little voice inside of me that whispered,

"Be still and know that I am God."

Pause for a moment, my friends, in the midst of your daily busyness, and listen.


{Via}

Saturday, March 12, 2011

here i am, there they are..{pray for japan}

Chinese Earthquake


here i am, sitting cozily at the laptop upon our large green sofa.

there she is, lost in a street of rubble, crying and alone without her mother.

here i am, watching the rain splatter on the window panes, feeling calm and cozy within our heated home.

there he is, struggling in the water, desperate for help as a lone survivor.

here i am, frustrated at the low internet connection.

there they are, standing in a forlorn circle around the bodies of their family.

how spoiled i am.

how desperate they are

for help in this time,

and

for God.

::pray for japan. pray for this world.::


"I will never leave you or forsake you."
{Hebrews 13:5}

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Few Things That Make me Smile..❤


❤ ~ ❤ ~ ❤ ~ ❤ ~ ❤




Tiny Little Stardust Sparkle Coin Necklace in Silver

Shabby Chic Embrace Happiness handmade card

Bright Pink Flower with Lace Hair Clip

Vegan Faux Leather Journal/Notebook-Pink

Paris Chic 2 - Set of 8 Shabby Chic ATC Cards -


~*~

❤ ❤ ..Aren't these items simply divine? ❤ ❤

*sigh*

..Ah, the joys of online window shopping!

~*~

Also, ~HAPPY 18th BIRTHDAY~ to my blogging friend Anna, from Oooh La La! May the Lord bless you, dear!



{Wish her well today}❤
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